It’s the last day of spring (2024) as we know it (and I don’t feel fine)

It was actually a pleasantly sunny day for the last day of Spring 2024, with a high of 26°C (not a record). The not-fine part is related to the allergies/cold/flu/alien incubation I currently have. I slept horribly last night, but I think I am on the mend now and will hopefully at least be back to somewhat normal by tomorrow, the first day of summer.

I will frolic about if that’s the case.

In the meantime, here is a wide-angle photo of Hume Park, with the grass unusually green for mid-June:

March 2024: The Possibilities

March is a fun month, but also weird and sometimes horrible. Behold my list (with semi-random bold highlights):

  • We switch back to Daylight Saving Time, aka Proper Time, and gain back an extra hour of light in the evening (as of March 10). This is good for birding and just not being in the dark as much.
  • Spring officially begins (on March 19). I saw buds on trees back in January, so spring is really already underway, despite a few attempts at snow since then (Mother Nature is acting more like Mother from the terrible Police song of the same name right now).
  • Even without DST, daylight is stretching out longer into the evening.
  • Temperatures start getting milder. T-shirt weather soon! (More seriously, t-shirts become feasible outdoors as soon as next month, barring climate change hijinks that could genuinely push this into March).
  • A downside: Starting with February, the amount of precipitation goes down every month until September, when it starts going back up–except for March. March is an anomaly, where it is wetter than February. The downward trend resumes in April.
  • Speaking of, it is 3°C and raining as I type this, with a high of 7 forecast (two degrees off the average). Winter is reminding us it’s still official for 17 more days.
  • But also speaking of, March is where the last chance for real snow that sticks to the ground and needs to be shovelled, comes to an end. Looking at the 10-day forecast, it seems we are safe from any more snow accumulations for Winter 2023-24, though a few flakes may fall over the next few days here and there, just to annoy everyone.

Here’s the historic average for rainfall. It’s for New Westminster, but I checked, and it’s accurate for the whole Lower Mainland1Or Metro Vancouver, if you prefer to be all official about it.

March: We heard you like rain.

And with all that said, here is my haiku for March.

Haiku for March

Warmer and brighter
But still the rain won't let up
Take what you can get

September 2023 was a month

I’m not sure how I’d summarize this September. Unlike last September, which was a long continuation of very hot and humid weather, this September saw enough precipitation that by the end of the month the fire danger rating dropped back to low. Fall arrived with Very Fall weather and two day into the new season, we had our first official fall storm, with weather advisories and everything.

September was never especially hot, though we had nice days. I gained half a pound, but at least 300 grams was sexy leg muscle, I’m pretty sure.

So, a mixed bag.

I’m expecting snow by Halloween.

In 18 days, Summer 2023 will be over

And I will be sad. The transition from summer to fall is the only seasonal change that makes me feel a bit glum. Days get shorter and colder. Trees lose their leaves, vegetation withers. It rains more. It rains on top of the rain. Sometimes it floods. Yes, you get a few weeks of nice weather and fall colours right at the start, but that’s it.

By the time fall changes to winter, it’s already effectively been winter for weeks, so it doesn’t hit me the same way.

Here’s to Summer 2024! Only, uh, a lot of days to go. I could look it up, but I’d rather not know the precise number just now.

Summer comes to an end once more…

It’s the last day of winter (2022)

And good riddance! We got more snow than was needed to be delighted by the general concept of snowfall, and we got way more rain than needed, resulting in historic flooding. We also got some record-breaking cold, though that at least didn’t accompany the historic flooding.

Winter remains #4 on my list of favorite seasons, and I’m tempted to add blank spots for #4-9 just to put it in tenth place.

September: The transition

September is a transition month in a number of different ways, even more so this year than in others for me in particular:

  • At the start of the month it is still summer, and it can be quite sunny and warm
  • By the end of the month it’s fall and while the weather can still be t-shirt-worthy, it can also be what it is currently: in the low to mid-teens and very much The Rains. Now begins the slow turning of all the lush greens of summer, to be replaced briefly by the explosion of fall colors before everything turns gray and naked, like the aliens from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
  • And this marks the first full month after leaving my job of close to nine years. I won’t go into details here, but will say that it has been a month of planning, working and setting up toward the future. It has also been a boon to my mental health because I had grown to despise both the work and work environment at my previous place of employment. Getting out of there was like removing a slow drip of poison into my system.
  • My birthday is also in September, so it’s a chance to reflect on gaining another year and being happy about that vs. the alternative
  • The start of the school year is no longer particularly meaningful to me now, for which I am grateful, but I am aware of it on the periphery, with kids no longer out and aboot the same way during the day

October brings the last of the warm weather for the year (if we are lucky), the aforementioned explosions of color (the highlight of the season by far), Halloween (the holiday I am indifferent to, but I do enjoy seeing how people decorate their homes and yards) and, of course, pumpkin spice everywhere. What’s the deal with that, anyway? Pumpkins aren’t spicy!

On the first day of winter…

I forgot to post.

Yesterday was the first day of winter, the shortest day of the year, and thus my dread enemy. Today, the sun will set very slightly later and before you know it, summer will be here.

The day itself was pretty typical of winters here…damp, cool, but not frozen. And I saw a 10 p.m. showing of Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, which I will expand upon in another post.

As for the now-completed Fall 2019, it was…okay. Some thing improved, some stayed the same, some got worse. I will focus on the positive:

  • I managed to put the brakes on my annual fall weight gain. It’s holding steady and before the end of the month I hope to start sending it downward.
  • Related to the above, I continue to use the new treadmill regularly
  • I did Inktober! 31 drawings, yay! I’ve only done one since, true, but still…
  • I made the right call to skip National Novel Writing Month. I am not ready…yet.
  • I got my ears cleaned, my eyes checked and thought about stretching. Soon I’ll actually stretch.
  • And some other stuff I can’t remember

I wore my shorts today

Wearing shorts is not exactly unusual in the summer. I’ve been wearing them most days, though recently the weather has taken on a more fall-like aspect, leading me to occasionally wear horrible long pants.

But today the temperature climbed close to 20 degrees and the sun came out, so the shorts went on. It was nice. Being the second to last day of summer, and with rain forecast for tomorrow (update: It is very much raining on the last official day of summer), this is likely the last time I’ll wear shorts for summer 2019 and thus it shall be recorded here.

Summer 2019 was a bit odd. After two consecutive years of the worst forest fires ever, accompanied by weeks of haze hanging over the city due to the ever-present fires (see the yellow-tinged look to every photo I took on Barnston Island for evidence), this year I never even saw the FIRE DANGER signs go up at Burnaby Lake or the Brunette River, the first time this hasn’t happened since I moved to New West in 2011.

One of the reasons we opted for a mid-July vacation instead of late August was to reduce the chance of hitting a fire ban, because camping without campfires is sad and unCanadian. But the fire ban never came.

While we did have some hotter days, they were fewer in number and we never really had a hot stretch where everyone lamented how hot it was and wouldn’t it be nice if it cooled down and rained a little–at which point people would effortlessly switch to griping about the rainy, non-summer-like weather.

Running-wise it was great. I never encountered more than a few sprinkles on my runs and most of the time it was surprisingly comfortable for jogging, with a nice balance between warmth and humidity. I saw very few instances of dry mouth and nearly every time it was humid (sweat city) it was offset by temperatures being lower. And not having to run with fine particulate smoke hanging in the air was nice, too.

And yet I still lament in a small way the lack of a “traditional” summer where it gets hot and sticky (and stinky) and people complain about the heat. Because as horrible as it might be for running, as bad as it may be for the skin, and as terrible it might be with the greater risks to our forests burning, that feels like summer.

With the leaves turning and fall officially started tomorrow, I’m already thinking about winter. The long term forecast seems to be suggesting it will be milder and maybe wetter? I don’t think anyone really knows, given the climate upheaval we are clearly in the middle of. I’m just hoping there’s no snowpocalypse to match 2016-17.

But before the snow, there is still some time for more possible wearing of shorts before it gets a little too chilly to be a reasonable thing to do. Checking the 10 day forecast, the best opportunity appears to be…this Tuesday, with a forecast of mostly cloudy and a high of 18. After that we are definitely in more “people will start looking at you funny” territory.

The last day of spring, 2019 edition

It is currently 16C, a little cooler than would be seasonal. It’s partly cloudy, but no serious threat of precipitation yet–that is saved for the weekend, according to the forecast.

The last few months have been a time of certain small triumphs and a lot of ennui. My writing has withered and I’m trying to decide how much I care. I’m not taking part in July’s Camp NaNoWriMo because part of the month I will be on vacation, when my writing is meant to wither. As I type this, the sun is angling to poke through the clouds and I think of how spring has been pretty decent overall, weather-wise. So that’s good, if you ignore the thawing permafrost up north and the steady march onward of climate doom. It doesn’t help that Canadians keep electing not only conservative governments, but breathtakingly ignorant ones in particular.

Anyway, here’s to summer–officially starting tomorrow–being better. It’s my favorite season and I look forward to soaking up some rays and reveling in the warm days ahead. Which are currently not in the long range forecast. But still.

Rain on me (2016)

The second day of fall was cool, wet and for good measure a strong wind would occasionally gust up.

One of the perks, such as it is, of global warming/climate change/more extreme weather is a trend away from our usual months of incessant rain and gray skies during the fall and winter. I like it, even as I secretly know we’ll eventually have penguins living in Vancouver as a result*.

This is my way of saying I miss summer even more than I did yesterday when it was still sunny and warm.

I also skipped my noon walk because of the rain and now feel slothful and lazy. I may run tomorrow as penance.

* I’m pretty sure the penguins will remain in the Antarctic, but you never know, maybe a rogue ice floe bearing a distraught penguin family will survive all the way up to the west coast

Fall on me (2016)

Today was the first day of fall and it was sunny and pleasantly mild, even almost warm. Good work fall, keep it up!

Note: tomorrow’s forecast calls for a chance of rain and a high of 14. I do not approve.

Also, the sun set today at 7:08 p.m. We’re probably only a couple of weeks away from it starting to get seriously dusky at the end of my runs and then too dark to run after work altogether. Plus cold and wet.

Basically what I’m saying is I already miss summer.